Virtual meetings during COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic the Parish Council continues to meet and make decisions in public. Meetings were virtual between March 2020 and May 2021. They are now hybrid. The Clerk publishes minutes of these meetings once councillors have approved them and the chairman has signed the minutes. Pre COVID-19 this would usually happen at the following meeting. Hard copies of the approved minutes from January 2016 onwards are available to view in Wye Library.
COVID-19: At its meeting 17th March 2020 the Council received advice from Public Health England (issued 16th March) that
- 'everyone should stop non-essential contact with others' and SLCC's advice 'to consider extending the delegation of Council decisions to the Clerk during any period of restricted activity declared by the Government in respect of the COVID-19 virus. Such delegation is to enable the Council to fulfil its responsibilities to its residents'.
In light of this clear advice, councillors did not consider it safe or appropriate to wait for the Government to act, but instead resolved to approve a temporary scheme of delegation under LGA72 s101, with immediate effect. Consequently, between 17th March and 25th June 2020 the Clerk handled routine items, in consultation with nominated councillors. This temporary structure enabled staff to work remotely for their safety. This scheme provided the flexibility to respond quickly under LGA72 s137 to the changing needs of its residents, and support local businesses and services, but avoided the risk of viral transmission entailed in meetings held in public.
Wye Parish Council resumed regular meetings in public in June 2020 via Microsoft Teams Live.
This enables the Parish Council to comply with Regulation 5 of The Local Authorities and Police and Crime Panels (Coronavirus) (Flexibility of Local Authority and Police and Crime Panel Meetings) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. Teams also ensures that although the public cannot attend virtual meetings they have a right to hear proceedings live, either online, or by phone.
How to join a meeting in Microsoft Teams
Guidance on how to join a meeting in Microsoft Teams: You can join Teams Live meetings can either from the Teams app, or Teams on the web. This guidance explains how to join Teams Live meetings by link or from a Teams calendar invitation. In the absence of broadband, you can call a phone number and make an audio connection. As Microsoft frequently updates Teams please see the Microsoft Teams website for current instructions and tutorials.
Microsoft Teams Live video-conferences: To 'attend' a virtual meeting via audio or video, please follow the Teams Live Connection link associated with each agenda below. As a member of the public you have the option to either watch meetings, either by downloading the free Teams Windows app (that will appear when you click on the link), or via the web on your browser, or listen via your phone.
(The public 'waiting room' will open fifteen minutes before the start of each meeting. This is to enable you to establish and test your connection before the meeting starts).
The Parish Council's virtual and hybrid meetings all start with the equivalent of a public open session. Please contact the Clerk at least three working days before the meeting if you wish to present a written statement.